Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Candis LaPrade, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Lund, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Craig C. Challender, Ph.D.


Three of Cather’s works, Sapphira and the Slave Girl, The professor’s House, and Shadows on the Rock distinguish two civilizations in North America. This thesis examines the mental and physical abuses of African American slavery imposed on its victims in Sapphira and the Slave Girl. In The Professor’s House, the abuse and neglect with which America has treated Native Americans is revealed. Shadows on the Rock demonstrates the cultural superiority and cohesiveness of the French settlement described. In the works, Cather creates powerful contrasts between the American and Canadian societies within the New World. Her comparisons suggest that twentieth-century Americans appear to be in moral and intellectual decline. Individuals are displaced, family unites are destroyed, and American institutions, represented by the Smithsonian, are corrupt.



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